The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has issued an alert to truckers across the country. Be wary of a suspected text scam in which the sender is attempting to pass itself off as coming from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
After OOIDA member Scott Menderson received an odd text to his phone, he couldn’t help but think something smelled fishy. The text claimed to be from the USDOT and instructed him to call a provided phone number to fix an error and become current so that he could keep driving.
After doing an internet search, he noted even more red flags and called OOIDA to find out what, if anything was going on with his authority before acting on the instructions from the text.
Tom Crowley, a regulatory specialist with OOIDA’s Business Services Department said that that DOT will send a letter or maybe a phone call, but he hasn’t heard of the department texting people.
“The DOT will not text you,” Crowley said. “So if they get a text message, it’s a scam because the DOT does not text you.”
Since carriers are required to provide their phone numbers to the Feder Motor Carrier Safety Administration, this makes those numbers public knowledge which means they can become low-hanging fruit for scammers.
Some have attempted take advantage of truckers by charging up to $300 for an MCS-150 form update, something you can do yourself completely free.